Most people of a certain age might remember that wonderful quote from “All About Eve” – “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Well, as it applies to x-rated “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” on stage at the Geffen Playhouse, it could be rewritten to read: “Fasten your seatbelts. You’re in for an evening of non-stop laughter,” which includes funny stories, free giveaways, and audience participation. This delightful one-hander written by Kris Andersson, produced by Down South LLC, and meticulously directed by Patrick Richwood, might alter your opinion of Tupperware forever.
Audience members were given nametags and from the moment you lined up to enter the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, and was welcomed by the imposing Dixie Longate, who handed out candy, you instinctively knew that a funny, irreverent evening of theatre awaited you. Before the invisible curtain went up, Dixie worked the audience, stopping by, saying hello, flirting, and giving hugs, which she called “giving you some sugar.”
The storyline revolves around Dixie who left her children in a trailer park in Mobile, Alabama and travelled across the country selling Tupperware. The action takes place on a simple set (not credited,) nicely lit by Richard Winkler and is comprised of a table piled high with an assortment of Tupperware products, which Dixie refers to as “crap. ” Several ladies were chosen from the house to occupy the two couches, also on stage, and became fodder for Dixie’s hilarious one-liners.
Drinking was definitely part of Dixie’s character, who seemed to have served some time in prison, and she sipped what we think is scotch from a sippie cup, switching to wine later in evening. She commented at one point: “I was so drunk, my panties were on my head.” Holding up two bottles of booze, she referred to them as “Something for the car.”
Actors refer to their bodies as their physical instruments, which includes being able to use the voice in a variety of ways. Dixie possesses an extensive range to her vocal life, including snorting, mumbling, swallowing the line, and lowering her pitch to a whisper, tossing out improvised barbs in rapid succession. Now remember, this is a Tupperware party so in between the banter, when she finally got around to actually trying to sell one of her pieces of “crap,” she modulated her voice, machine-gunning the description much like the old-fashion television pitchmen. She held up one of the pieces listed in the catalog sheet inserted in everyone’s program and the number 469 was flashed on the screen to which Dixie commented, “I love that number.”
This statuesque southern belle continuously worked the audience asking where people were from. One person said she was from London to which Dixie playfully exclaimed in her delightful drawl: “You’re from London? Shut up!” (To be read in a southern accent). She “struggled” with the pronunciation of guacamole giving very funny variations, riffed on the baking soda in everyone’s frig which, “Should have been changed when Nixon was president,” and offered one of her double-entre description of mushrooms, “Brown and slimy and when I have that in my mouth, it doesn’t taste good.”
Each nametag was numbered and if your number was picked, that lucky person would win one of the Tupperware products being displayed. But, before you received that coveted prize, you had to run through a gauntlet of questions. One young lady had a winning number and was greeted on stage by Dixie who asked “How long have you been married?” “Fourteen years.” “So, all the magic is gone!” Dixie then launched into an x-rated demonstration of stroking as it applies to a specific part of the male anatomy. Due to the loud laughter in the audience, you could barely hear the dialogue, but understood the visually graphic display.
Dixie has performed her non-stop uproarious show over 800 times in five countries around the world and yet it’s as fresh as though it were the first time, which is largely due in part to the lightening speed in which she engages the audience that changes at every performance. For this particular show, an unsuspecting theatergoer named Patrick, good-naturedly took the brunt of her double-entre word play at which she is a master. Coercing him to come on stage, she handed him a complicated can opener and with her standing next to him, he made many failing attempts to open the can. Trying to give him some hints, Dixie patiently demonstrated how to do it using her arms and legs and when he succeeded, this good sport was given a huge round of applause.
On one of the few serious notes, Dixie talked about a single mother from the Midwest named Brownie Wise who, in 1948, stumbled upon the idea of making plastic food storage containers and how she changed the lives of thousands of women who were now able to earn money for their families after their husbands returned from fighting in World War II. The other more serious moment was when she talked about loving yourself and never giving up, much like pep talks given at tier-marketing rallies. Dixie herself is the mother of three children and started selling this “plastic crap in 2001” and within one year became one of the top sellers in America saying, “I have never had so much fun drinking for free in my life.” After spending this unique evening with Dixie, “You’ll probably never look at Tupperware in quite the same way” and might even become Tupper-maniacal.”
The Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00pm
Saturday: 3:00pm: & 7:00pm
Sunday: 2:00pm: & 7:00pm
Closing: No closing date has been set.
HYPERLINK "http://www.geffenplayhouse.com" www.geffenplayhouse.com
Published on Jul 16, 2014